Touch Pad Integration, Gesture Controls Coming to BMW Vehicles

June 2, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Guys, guess what. The BMW X5, with a tweaked exterior and upgraded powertrain, has been caught testing in the wild and it turns out that the automaker is integrating a touch pad to its iDrive controller.

Also, the BMW is working on new gesture based controls for the ultimate driving machine.

The automaker is said to be working on a capacitive touch pad embedded in the iDrive rotary controller. As you can see, the standard directional arrows from previous generations are now joined by a crosshair pattern overlaid on top of the capacitive panel for easier text input. Then there could be pinch to zoom and map panning functionality as well.

As you know, Audi was the first to make the drivers’ world easier by integrating touchpad into its infotainment systems.

It meant you could draw the alphabet rather than scroll through the alphanumeric list to input an address or point-of-interest search. BMW asked itself, why be left behind, before going ahead with this idea.

It seems we can look forward to the touchpad equipped iDrive controller sometime next year.

Coming to gesture control, BMW’s move could mean in its future cars, drivers can increase or decrease the audio volume by simply raising or lowering their hand.

Similar gestures could also work for selection of tracks or radio stations and in map views. BMW executives will be testing the refined system in Germany next month, and a market ready variant should be out in two years time.

It would be cool to see the new innovations in BMW’s new i-branded vehicles.

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